Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Noam Chomsky Reflects
From an interview with Amy Goodman at the Harvard Memorial Church, Cambridge MA. (Rush transcript)
- Sponsored by Harvard U Extension International Relations Club. Democracy Now! Aired 15 March 2010.
The lesson that we ought to learn, there was a split in American public opinion, very sharp split, very visible, in the early ’70s, between elite opinion—you know, newspapers, Harvard faculty and so on—on the one hand, and the general population, on the other. Not the antiwar movement, the general population. In elite opinion, articulate opinion—and that you can read, so it’s easy to document—the most extreme condemnation of the war was that it was a mistake which proved to be too costly. OK, that’s about as far as you can go. Among the public, about 70 percent, in polls, said it’s not a mistake, it’s fundamentally wrong and immoral. OK? It’s a very sharp and significant split. And I think the lesson we ought to learn is, to bring it to today, that, say, when Obama is praised for opposing the war in Iraq because he thought it was a mistake, we should recognize that to be on a par with Nazi generals after Stalingrad who thought that the two-front war was a mistake. The issue isn’t was it a mistake; it’s whether it’s fundamentally wrong and immoral. Well, that’s the lesson that has to be drawn. That’s what the public probably already understands, but we have to do something with them and organize with them.